Exposure: Polly Scattergood
Polly Scattergood - Nitrogen Pink
The crowds are still fawning over Adele, but already there's another Brit School alumni ready to take on the world, and this one actually has some interesting songs. Away from the tedium of her former schoolmate, Polly Scattergood has been adoringly compared to Kate Bush as a British female singer-songwriter with ideas and imagination, and not just a pleasing strum. This Polly's a cracker.
How did you get into music?
I've always been writing music really. Even when I was a little 11-year-old I was playing on the piano and guitar and working out songs. My parents were both really arty, so that was part of it. My dad was an actor, before he became a boat builder.
You attended the acclaimed Brit School. How did that come about?
Well, there was nowhere else around me where I could do music in sixthform, so it was the only place that would take me really.
What was the school like?
It was really cool. There was just lots of little rooms, just for studying music in. So a lot of it was just sitting in a room on my own, but I learned a lot.
There's been some quite impressive graduates of late, like Amy Winehouse and Adele. Have you similar aspirations for such success?
It's not something I'd really hope for. The only thing I really want to be able to do is just carry on making music. That's my life, and as long as I sell enough to make another album, then I'll be happy.
You've written over 800 songs in your time. How do you decide what ones to pursue further and put on an album?
I'm just writing the whole time really. I just write them so quickly. And for this album, it was pretty much the latest 10 I had written. Apart from I Hate the Way. I wrote that when I was 17.
How does your song writing process work?
I don't just sit down and think of something. It has to flow naturally, and come by itself. And if nothing comes, I don't pursue it. I tried sometimes to just pick a subject and write about it, but it didn't work. If it's not there, it's not there.
Your self-titled debut has just been released. What's the reception been like?
It's wicked. Certainly more than I could have hoped for. It took a long time to make, and it changed and grew a lot but I'm really happy with it. Though every time I listen to it now, I always think there's something else that I could do with it. I'm never really finished. I was always wanting to go into the studio next day and carry on.
What's the nicest thing anyone's said about you?
I don't really know. It's weird, because you get all these comments from people who like your stuff and they kind of go in one ear and out the other, but it's the negative ones that stay with you your whole life. I suppose getting 8/10 from NME was nice because it was so unexpected.
Why should people listen to Polly Scattergood?
I just hope you like it. I just make music and it always surprises me when people like it. It's just what I do.
Polly Scattergood plays Glasgow, Captain's Rest on 12 Apr, and Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's on 13 Apr.